Life made simple

DON’T TOUCH THAT HOSE! (And other water-saving tips.)


It’s become the new normal in certain parts of South Africa: water saving. The Western and Eastern Cape may be the only areas experiencing water shortages right now but with climate change becoming a reality, any area could be affected next season, so don’t be complacent if you’re currently not short of water.

Where do we use most of our household water? We’ve done some research and, inside the home, it’s definitely these: washing machines, piles of dishes and pots, bathing and showering. multiple toilet flushes, and dishwashing machines.

Outside the house, it’s sprinkler systems, car washing with a hose and filling up the pool.

So here are the rules to follow if you want to be water-wise:

Take a short shower instead of a deep bath. And let the water flow gently rather than gush out at full volume. Use a bucket to collect the water, OR: Put a small inflatable kiddy pool in your shower stall to catch EVERY drop of water.

Always save bath and shower ‘grey water’ for watering plants or flushing the toilet. And don’t flush unless its necessary.

Grey water that stands in a bucket can get smelly after a day or two, so to prevent that, add a capful of bleach or liquid toilet cleaner.

Clean your hands with disposable wipes, or a soap and water mix in a spray bottle rather than under a running tap.

Only use tap water for drinking, cooking or washing your body.

Reduce your washing up by cooking one pot meals and using paper plates. Too flimsy? Try putting a paper plate over a regular plate that’s covered in plastic cling wrap.

Brush your teeth with half a cup of water. No more standing in front of a running tap while brushing.

When you get home from work, change into a beach wrap or bathrobe, and hang up your day clothes to air out, so you can wear them more than once. You can cut your wash load in half.

Harvest your rainwater. YouTube has easy tutorials on how to harvest rainwater from your gutters.

Your pool doesn’t have to be brimming for you to enjoy a dip, so don’t touch that hose!

Wash your car with grey water.

Plant an indigenous garden that needs less water to survive.

And finally, try to stick to this rule: Only use tap water for drinking, cooking or washing your body. Then re-use all of that water for everything else.

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